As news that Jacob deGrom's elbow discomfort may not be as bad as originally thought, the New York Mets can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to trying to win their series at the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway told reporters Friday that DeGrom's elbow was "barking" when he began throwing earlier that day, and the 2018 NL Cy Young Award winner was placed on the 10-day injured list, but after more throws on Saturday deGrom said his arm "felt completely normal" and he was back on track to start Friday against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
With a long-term crisis seemingly averted, the Mets still had to call up Chris Flexen from Triple-A Syracuse and start him in deGrom's spot on Saturday. The Cardinals took advantage in the 10-2 victory.
Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 5.63 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets on Sunday in the rubber game.
Syndergaard last faced the Cardinals on April 26 of last season and allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits in 7 1/3 innings, but did not receive a decision in the 4-3 loss.
He's 1-2 in his career against the Cardinals with a 3.08 ERA
Mets second baseman Robinson Cano, who was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Mets in a multi-player deal in December, seems to be getting comfortable batting in the third spot between Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto.
Cano is 4-for-8 in the first two games of the series to lift his batting average from .192 to .222.
Callaway told WCBS before Saturday's game that Cano will benefit from his location in the lineup.
"You're going to get your pitches when you're hitting between those two guys, especially the way they're both swinging the bats," Callaway said. "He's going to continue to get quality pitches and do some damage."
Alonso was in pain after a pitch glanced off his hand on a checked swing in the eighth inning on Saturday. He finished the at-bat, and x-rays following the game came back negative, according to multiple reports.
St. Louis first-year manager Mike Shildt told WCBS that he continues to be awed by all the elements Goldschmidt brings to the team.
"I just appreciate how steady of a performer he is, and how he goes about things," Shildt said. "Just does all the little things, and then it's residual in the clubhouse, too. He shows up and his preparation is really excellent, and that has a residual effect in the clubhouse."
St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson (0-1, 6.08) has never faced the Mets in his two-year career.
Converted to a starter after 26 appearances out of the bullpen as a rookie last season, Hudson is coming off his poorest outing. He allowed six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings on Monday in a 10-7 loss in Milwaukee.
Hudson should continue to benefit from the services of veteran catcher Yadier Molina, who's expected to play after taking back-to-back days off last week and resting the last two innings Saturday.
Shildt said Molina sees the game better than anybody he's ever worked with in baseball.
"His value is beyond measurable," Shildt said. "He's got a feel for the game, an understanding for the game, he's a winning player and he knows what it's like to win."
--Field Level Media